WHAT MATTERS MORE by Liora Blake BOOK BLITZ AND GIVEAWAY – Win books plus a $25 Amazon Gift Card

Title: What Matters More

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Author: Liora Blake

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Publication date: April 9th 2019

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Genres: Adult, Contemporary, Romance

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DESCRIPTION:

A sexy contemporary romance about what happens when a casual one-night stand becomes anything but casual.

JT Maxwell has it all . . . well, almost. He’s a US Marshal, he looks like he belongs in an aftershave commercial, and he has tattoos—lots of tattoos. Unfortunately, he’s also in debt up to his pretty blue eyeballs. Between that and his recent divorce, his personal life is nonexistent these days. But when a free-spirited artist approaches him for a no-strings-attached one-night stand, things suddenly start looking up.

Anya Alves’s life is a mess. She’s lost her job, caught her boyfriend cheating on her, and if it weren’t for the house-sitting gig she just landed, she’d be homeless. On top of all that, her creative muse has up and disappeared. If she doesn’t get it back, her burgeoning career as an artist will be over before it starts. But after indulging in a steamy hook-up with a guy who makes it easy to forget her troubles, she gets her mojo back.

The last thing she expects when starting her house-sitting job, is to see her sexy one-night stand again . . . living right across the street.

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EXCERPT:

Anya managed a nervous smile and thrust her arms forward, with the baking pan perched in her hands like an offering—one she suddenly wasn’t sure would be welcome.

“We made enchiladas for dinner,” she blurted out. “And we saved some for you. Tara said you can send her a thank-you note tomorrow. I kept them warm, and I have salad and some beer, too. Are you hungry?”

JT’s gaze zeroed in on the pan in her hands and he simply stared at it, not saying a word, even when Anya cleared her throat to ease the uncomfortable silence. She felt a blush creeping across her cheeks, and a panicked thought hit her. One that if she hadn’t lost her mind earlier, she would have been able to see coming before she found herself with these damn oven mitts on her hands.

Maybe this was a mistake.

She could see how this must look, this show of domesticity on her part that he certainly hadn’t asked for or even insinuated that he wanted. But here she was, making him dinner and keeping it warm until he arrived home, like she was some proper Kennedy-era housewife—which, on so many levels, she definitely wasn’t. Even the outfit she’d changed into, a lavender floral mini dress, made it look like all she was missing was a cute little vintage apron to complete the look.

Oh, God.

Of course this was a mistake.

Anya considered setting the pan on the ground and walking away without saying another word. But then JT locked his eyes with hers. A hungry, heated look was on his face, and because she was regretting this whole thing now, she wasn’t sure whether that look was for her or the enchiladas. Either way, she needed him to say something soon because she was about to drop this hot pan and swoon, although not necessarily in that order.

“I’m starving,” JT rumbled. Then he made his way toward the door into the house, opened it, and invited Anya in with just the tip of his chin. She scooted past him in the doorway and swore that when she did, he actually grunted quietly as she passed.

Even then, she still wasn’t sure what he wanted to eat first.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Author Bio:

Wife of one. Mom of three plus a Beagle.

Liora Blake is a contemporary romance author living in Colorado.

When she isn’t writing, she’s likely baking cookies she shouldn’t eat, inventing elaborate excuses to avoid going for a run, or asking the nice barista to sell her another quad-shot Americano.

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GIVEAWAY!

Blitz-wide giveaway (INT)
  • $25 Amazon gift card + paperback copies of the 3 books in the Grand Valley series.

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A GIFT OF JACINTH by Allie McCormack COVER REVEAL AND GIVEAWAY

A Gift of Jacinth
Allie McCormack
(Wishes & Dreams #2)
Publication date: June 4th 2019
Genres: Adult, Paranormal, Romance

Douglas needed a miracle. What he got was a genie…

Veterinarian Douglas McCandliss considered himself an ordinary kinda guy with an ordinary kinda life. He had no idea why he’d bought the old silver teapot, and when a young woman appeared before him claiming to be a genie, he almost wished he hadn’t. If only she wasn’t so damned cute.

Ebullient and cheerful, Jacinth loved granting wishes and helping people. So she was thrilled when her teapot’s new owner, a single father with custody of two young children, asked her to stay until he could find a nanny. The problem was, the longer she stayed, the more she was attracted to Douglas, and she was certainly not willing to turn over care of Ben and little Molly to just anybody. But she was a 900 year old genie, and had no intention of falling in love with a mortal man. None whatsoever.

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Sequel to:

Author Bio:

A career medical transcriptionist, Allie McCormack is now writing from home full-time. Allie has traveled quite a bit and lived many places all over the U.S., and also a year in Cairo, Egypt as an exchange student, and a year in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia under contract to a hospital there, plus a short stint with NATO while she was in the Army. As a single mom, she raised a wonderful daughter who’s recently married and there are plans afoot for grandchildren. A disabled veteran, Allie now lives in the beautiful Sorona Desert in southern Arizona with her two rescue cats and writes full-time.

Allie says: “A writer is who and what I am… a romance writer. I write what I know, and what I know is romance. Dozens of story lines and literally hundreds of characters live and breathe within the not-so-narrow confines of my imagination, and it is my joy and privilege to bring them to life, to share them with others by writing their stories.”

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THE IRRESISTIBLE SPARK BLOG TOUR & GIVEAWAY

The Irresistible Spark
Abby Tyler
Publication date: April 7th 2019
Genres: Adult, Contemporary, Romance

She started the blaze. The firefighter fanned the flame.

Abby Tyler welcomes you to the witty, well-meaning busybodies of Applebottom, Missouri, where the community takes its pies — and its matchmaking — very seriously.

Lorelei Spencer is over that loser who wasted the last few years of her life, and she’s going to prove it.

After she’s had enough mourning and midnight rage-crying, Lorelei dumps all the clothes, stuffed animals, notes, and mementos from the relationship on her front lawn. Then, she sets the pile ablaze.

It feels great.

Until it catches the grass on fire, too.

Volunteer firefighter Micah Livingston arrives on the scene and handily douses the blaze. But the fire he puts out sparks a new one in his heart when he realizes this feisty woman with a zeal for life might be exactly what he’s been looking for.

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EXCERPT:

Oh no. Oh no. Oh no.

Lorelei couldn’t take her eyes off the fire. What had seemed like a great idea five minutes ago was now clearly her worst ever.

The pile of wadded-up paper, bedding, clothes, and mementos had gone up in flames more swiftly than she would ever have predicted. But then the singed grass of the yard, hot and dry at midsummer, had started smoldering.

Several heads turned up the street at the same time. Lorelei followed their gazes to see what was more interesting than her front yard blaze.

It was definitely worth a look. A dark-haired firefighter, partially dressed in yellow gear, ran full speed up the street.

She felt imprisoned, unable to move.

“Is that the girl who started it?” he asked her neighbor, not taking his eyes off her.

“That would be the one,” Arnold said.

“She from around here?”

Lorelei puffed with indignation. Pretending not to know a born-and-bred citizen of Applebottom was pretty much the biggest insult you could make in this town.

She stomped right up to him. “Micah Livingston, you know good and well that I’m Lorelei Spencer. You went to high school with my sister Mandy.”

Micah’s eyebrows shot up. “You’re little Lori? The spunky snot-nosed kid who used to steal cupcakes out of Mandy’s lunch?”

Nobody made fun of Lorelei Spencer, not even a hottie firefighter.

Author Bio:

Abby Tyler loves puppy dogs, pie, and small towns (she grew up in one!) Her Applebottom Matchmaker Society books combine the sweet and wholesome style of romance she loves with the funny, sometimes a-little-too-truthful characters she remembers from growing up in a place where everyone knew everybody’s business.

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LOVE LIKE SKY by Middle-grade author Leslie C. Youngblood is a 5+Star Read. This book will win awards and become a Best Seller. Release Date is November 6th – Mark your calendars now!!!

Title: LOVE LIKE SKY

Author: LESLIE C. YOUNGBLOOD

Genre: MIDDLE-GRADE FICTION

Ages: 8 to 12 YEARS

Length: 304 PAGES

Publisher: DISNEY BOOK GROUP

Received From: NETGALLEY

Release Date: NOVEMBER 6, 2018

ISBN: 9781368016506

Price: $16.99 USD

Rating: 5+ OUT OF 5 STARS ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

DESCRIPTION:

G-baby and her younger sister, Peaches, are still getting used to their “blended-up” family. They live with Mama and Frank out in the suburbs, and they haven’t seen their real daddy much since he married Millicent. G-baby misses her best friend back in Atlanta, and is crushed that her glamorous new stepsister, Tangie, wants nothing to do with her.

G-baby is so preoccupied with earning Tangie’s approval that she isn’t there for her own little sister when she needs her most. Peaches gets sick-really sick. Suddenly, Mama and Daddy are arguing like they did before the divorce, and even the doctors at the hospital don’t know how to help Peaches get better.

It’s up to G-baby to put things right. She knows Peaches can be strong again if she can only see that their family’s love for her really is like sky.

MY REVIEW:

In the opening scene of LOVE LIKE SKY, G-baby is entertaining her younger sister Peaches by repeatedly dancing the “Nae Nae” and the “Dougie.” I defy anyone to read this and not smile. I believe that would be impossible.

LOVE LIKE SKY is set in the town of Snellville, Georgia, where eleven-year-old G-baby, her younger sister Peaches (real names – Georgiana And Patrice) and their mother have moved to a new town after their mother’s marriage to their new stepdaddy, Frank. G-baby had initially been excited about the marriage because it meant she would be gaining a big sister. However, she has since discovered that her new stepsister wants nothing to do with her or Peaches. On top of all the other changes, G-baby misses her best friend Nikki, whom she left behind in Atlanta.

G-baby becomes obsessed with trying to get her new stepsister to pay attention to her. This leaves baby sister, Peaches at loose ends and feeling left out.

When Peaches gets really sick, neither her parents nor her doctors know how to make her better.

G-baby is convinced that she knows how to make Peaches better. She just has to figure out how to convince her that her family loves her as much as the sky is wide.

Blended families are often more common than “traditional families” which means that many readers will be able to relate to the struggles that G-baby and Peaches face. The topic of blended families is only one of the many themes explored in this amazing debut novel. Other themes include:

– Divorce
– Parents fighting
– Death of a sibling (not Peaches, so don’t think I am giving away any plot points)
– Moving to a new town
– Leaving friends behind and trying to make new ones
– Hospitalization and siblings with a serious illness
– Growing up and a girl’s changing body and feelings
– Racial inequality
– Peaceful protests
– Trayvon Martin and the shooting of unarmed young, black men
– Parents getting remarried and jealousy of the new spouse
– and many more.

The author does an incredible job of making the characters feel real. For instance, G-baby’s father has remarried and his new wife’s name is Millicent. Instead of thinking of her by her given name, G-baby has nicknamed her “Millipede.” This is a very typical tween way to rebel against the new spouse. She is too young to conjure up any truly mean-spirited nickname, yet still needs a way to express her jealousy at what she sees as the reason her beloved Daddy doesn’t spend as much time with them as he used to.

The author’s gift for creating believable and unique characters is displayed in one of my favorite scenes – which captures the fierce loyalty six year old Peaches has for her mother. This scene takes place when G-baby comments about Tangie’s cooking and says it is better than their mother’s. “Peaches eyes widened. ‘Nobody cooks better than Mama.'” I loved this scene. In the grand scheme of the book, this scene is minor, but it is so believable that I found it memorable for it’s simple, yet powerful portrayal of familial loyalty.

If I had to choose a single theme to describe this book, it would be EMOTION.

“Why we gotta jump when he’s ready? What about the times we waited on him and he didn’t come? I bet he doesn’t keep Ms. Millicent Parker waiting for nothing. She’s his ‘best girl’ now.”

Kids with divorced parents will easily relate to the characters in this excellent middle-grade novel. Author Leslie Youngblood understands just how perceptive kids can be. This is clearly demonstrated in the following scene:

“Just like Mama, he didn’t know that I could tell a fake smile from a real one. Mama and Daddy’s separation made me an expert, especially when we’d have family dinner and they’d wear their mannequin smiles.”

I apologize for the length of this review, but I felt compelled to explain why I am giving this book the highest rating possible which is 5+ OUT OF 5 STARS ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐. I realize that it is technically impossible to give a rating higher than 5 out of 5, but this book deserves to be in a category above all others.

*** Thank you to NetGalley for providing me with a free copy of this book. ***

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FAVORITE QUOTES:

“Mama said I got the name G-baby because I’d run to Daddy for every little thing. He’d swoop me up and say, ‘What’s wrong with George’s baby?’ Peaches real name is Patrice, but Mama loved Libby’s sliced peaches when she was pregnant with her, so that’s how she got her nickname.”

“Being a big sister was hard work.”

“Even though Mama says I can always talk to her, she means Mama stuff, like if someone is bullying me, or if a teacher is mean. Not like how to kiss a boy, or when it’s time to sneak a few cotton balls in my bra…”

“I’m supposed to have all the answers. That’s what it means to be a big sister, and why I want one of my very own.”

“When Mama and Daddy first tried to explain {why they were getting divorced}, Mama Said sometimes grown-ups ‘fall out of love.’ The best I can figure it: love is just a big old bed. When you’re not happy, you fall out of it.”

“There’s no reason on God’s green earth a boy should walk down the street with his boxers hanging out.”

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EXCERPT

“Love ain’t like that.”

How is it then?” Peaches asked, turning on her stomach to face me.

“It’s like sky. If you keep driving and driving, gas will run out, right?”

“That’s why we gotta go to the gas station.”

“Yep. But have you ever seen the sky run out? No matter how far we go?”

“No, when we look up, there it is.”

“Well that’s the kind of love Daddy and Mama got for us, Peaches—love like sky.”

“It never ends?”

Never.”

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Leslie C. Youngblood received an MFA from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. A former assistant professor of creative writing at Lincoln University in Jefferson City, she has lectured at Mississippi State University, UNC-Greensboro, and the University of Ghana at Legon.

She began her undergraduate degree at Morris Brown College and completed her bachelor’s at Georgia State University. After graduation, she served as a columnist and assistant editor for Atlanta Tribune: The Magazine.

She’s been awarded a host of writing honors including a 2014 Yaddo’s Elizabeth Ames Residency, the Lorian Hemingway Short Story Prize, a Hurston Wright Fellowship, and the Room of Her Own Foundation’s 2009 Orlando Short Story Prize. She received funding to attend the Norman Mailer Writers’ Colony in 2011. Her short story, “Poor Girls’ Palace,” was published in the winter 2009 edition of the Indiana Review, as well as Kwelijournal, 2014.

In 2010 she won the Go On Girl! Book Club Aspiring Writer Award. In 2016 she landed a two-book publishing deal with Disney-Hyperion for her Middle-Grade novel, LOVE LIKE SKY (Nov.6). She often teaches creative writing classes at Rochester, New York’s literary center, Writers & Books.

Born in Bogalusa, Louisiana, and raised in Rochester, New York, she’s fortunate to have a family of natural storytellers and a circle of supportive and family and friends.

To learn more about this author, visit the following links:

OFFICIAL WEBSITE
www.lesliecyoungblood.com

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UNWRITTEN by Tara Gilboy is a fun fairy-tale-esque Middle-grade Novel sure to delight readers both young and old. Releases October 16th.

Title: UNWRITTEN

Author: TARA GILBOY

Genre: MIDDLE-GRADE FICTION, SCIENCE FICTION and FANTASY

Age Range: 8 – 12

Grade Level: 4 – 6

Length: 200 PAGES

Publisher: NORTH STAR EDITIONS – JOLLY FISH PRESS

Received From: NETGALLEY

Release Date: OCTOBER 16, 2018

ISBN: 9781631631771

Price: $11.99 USD

Rating: 4 OUT OF 5 STARS ⭐⭐⭐⭐

DESCRIPTION:

Twelve-year-old Gracie Freeman is living a normal life, but she is haunted by the fact that she is actually a character from a story, an unpublished fairy tale she’s never read.

When she was a baby, her parents learned that she was supposed to die in the story, and with the help of a magic book, took her out of the story, and into the outside world, where she could be safe.

But Gracie longs to know what the story says about her. Despite her mother’s warnings, Gracie seeks out the story’s author, setting in motion a chain of events that draw herself, her mother, and other former storybook characters back into the forgotten tale.

Inside the story, Gracie struggles to navigate the blurred boundary between who she really is and the surprising things the author wrote about her.

As the story moves toward its deadly climax, Gracie realizes she’ll have to face a dark truth and figure out her own fairy-tale ending.

MY REVIEW:

This book is going to be a hit with young girls. The story weaves all the magic of a fairy tale with all of the mystery of a middle-grade story well told.

The idea that the main character, twelve year old Gracie is actually a character from a storybook is interesting and will be unique for the younger generation.

At first Gracie is living a normal life, just like the rest of her schoolmates. As the story continues we learn where she came from and how it came to be that her mother escaped with her into the “real” world.

The Author writes with the perfect mix of preteen angst and magic. What twelve year old girl hasn’t fantasized about discovering that she is really a Princess?

Imagine discovering that you owe your life to an author, rather than to your parents. How bizarre would that be?

After Gracie discovers with where she came from, events quickly speed up. She is desperate to know more about what the story says about her, but her mother will not tell her anything.

With typical youthful exuberance, Gracie decides that if her mother will not give her the information she so desperately wants, she will find answers on her own. This leads to a snowball effect and soon events spiral out of control and Gracie discovers that her life is now in danger.

Will she survive returning to the fairytale she had been rescued from as a baby? Or will she discover too late the power of the fairytale?

Writing Gracie must have brought out the author’s inner child. She does a brilliant job of describing the way young girls often feel. They may think they are on the cusp of adulthood, and be aggravated by the way their parents still treat them “like a child.”

It is only later (and sometimes too late, or not all) that they come to realize that maybe, just maybe, their parents are right and should have been listened to after all.

I enjoyed the mother daughter dynamics and could empathise with both characters. The scenes from inside the fairytale are terrific, as are Gracie’s interactions with the characters.

I don’t want to give too much away, so I will say no more about the plot.

UNWRITTEN is due to hit bookstores on October 16th and it is sure to become a hit. It would be a great Christmas present for the preteen or young adult in your family.

I rate UNWRITTEN as 4 out of 5 Stars ⭐⭐⭐⭐

**Thank you to NetGalley for providing me with a free copy of this book.**

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

TARA GILBOY holds a Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing from the University of British Columbia, where she specialized in writing for children and young adults.

She teaches creative writing in San Diego Community College’s Continuing Education Program and for the PEN Writers in Prisons Program.

Her work has appeared in Word Riot, Beloit Fiction Journal, Cricket, and other publications.

She lives in San Diego, California.

To learn more about this author, visit the following links:

OFFICIAL WEBSITE

GOODREADS

FACEBOOK

TWITTER

AMAZON

PUBLISHER’S WEBSITE

#Unwritten #NetGalley #CanLit #kidlit #CanadianAuthor #CanadaReads

THE HIDDEN VILLAGE BLOG TOUR, REVIEW, INTERVIEWS AND MORE 4.5 Stars for this HISTORICAL FICTION EPIC.

Author: Imogen Matthews

Narrator: Liam Gerrard

Length: 9 hours and 48 minutes

Publisher: I M Associates

Released: May 31, 2018

Genre: Historical Fiction

Wartime Holland.

Whom can you trust?

Deep in the Veluwe woods lies Berkenhout, a purpose-built village of huts sheltering dozens of
persecuted people. But the Germans can find no proof of its existence. The whole community
pulls together to help the Berkenhout inhabitants adjust to a difficult new life and, above all, stay
safe.

Sofie, a Jewish Dutch girl, struggles to adapt to living in Berkenhout, away from her family and
friends. As weeks turn to months, she’s worried they’ll abandon her altogether. Young tearaway
Jan likes to help, but he also enjoys roaming the woods looking for adventure and fallen pilots.

His dream comes true, until he is found out. Henk is in charge of building the underground huts
and organizing provisions to Berkenhout, but his contact with the Germans arouses suspicions.

Whom can you trust? All it takes is one small fatal slip to change the course of all their lives forever.


Imogen Matthews is English and lives in the beautiful University town of Oxford.

Before she wrote The Hidden Village, she published two romantic fiction e-novels under her pen name, Alex Johnson.

The Hidden Village is published by Amsterdam
Publishers, based in the Netherlands.
Imogen has strong connections with the Netherlands.

Born in Rijswijk to a Dutch mother and English father, the family moved to England when Imogen was very young.
Every year since 1990, Imogen has been on family
holidays to Nunspeet on the edge of the Veluwe woods.

It was here that she discovered the story of the hidden village, and together with her mother’s vivid stories of life in WW2 Holland, she was inspired to
write her next novel.

Narrator Bio


Liam is an Irish born voice-artist with over 10 years experience
working in every field of the voice industry. His recent varied audiobook work includes the
‘Deception of a Highlander’ series of 3 books, Little Caesar for Audible, A Christmas Carol, The
Tempest and Aviation Training. His regular corporate voice-clients include: Shell, BP, HMRC,
HSBC, Hilton, Mondelez, Cadburys, Green & Blacks and many more. He has performed
many radio-plays, narrations, animations and documentaries; from the Keith Moon biography to
most Shakespeare radio-plays.

He is also an Associate Lecturer in Broadcast Voice
and ‘Acting for Radio’ at Sheffield Hallam University.

He is a communication skills specialist and examiner
for the Royal College of Psychiatry, Royal College of Surgeons, Royal Scottish College of
Surgery and as such is highly fluent in complicated medical reads with Latin
pronunciations.

He is also a highly acclaimed stage and screen actor.
He studied at Lancaster University and then as a classically trained actor at Mountview. He
spent his formative years in the Middle-East which has given him an understanding of different
accents and cultures and is able to perform many accents to a native standard; including most
UK regions, most Irish regions, most of Europe, Australia and North America, (hillbilly, New
York, mid-Atlantic, San Francisco, Chicago, etc.) and is also able to create wildly inventive
characters. He has lent his voice to some of the zaniest cartoons and animations written, from
grumpy old wizards, to heroes, to South-American monkeys and even a sea-horse with a
Scottish accent!

He is currently the youngest actor to play the lead role
of Prospero in Shakespeare’s ‘The Tempest’ in London’s West–End. His recent production of
Brecht’s Caucasian Chalk Circle at the Royal Lyceum Edinburgh won 4 prestigious Critics Choice Awards. He has worked for the most renowned theatre companies; from The Royal
Exchange Theatre (2 Manchester theatre award nominations) to most regional theatres
throughout the UK, including Alan Aykbourn’s SJT, New Vic, Oldham Coliseum, Donmar,
Dukes, Nottingham Playhouse, Theatre by the Lake and many more. He also played Jerry in
‘Hollyoaks’ and appeared alongside Catherine Zeta-Jones in the Hollywood feature film ‘Death
Defying Acts’. His wide-ranging experience has also seen him perform Opera in ‘Rigoletto’.

In his spare time Liam is also a musician, playing violin,
drums, piano and percussion, and spends time with Peg, his Springer Spaniel, out in the Peak
District whenever he can get away from the studio!

Set in Holland during Hitler’s reign of terror, this book is unlike any I have read before. I expected it to be similar to “The Diary of Anne Frank” in that the entire tale would take place indoors, however, I was thankfully wrong. Don’t misunderstand me, I loved reading Anne Frank’s diary, it’s just that since then I have read numerous accounts of people in similar situations and I am ready for something different, something I have never heard about, or something completely new.

I had never heard of anything so daring as trying to hide an entire village full of people in a forest. It shocked me that THE HIDDEN VILLAGE was based on a true story.

The author has done a great job of crafting a tale that centers on the people’s lives, rather than on the war itself. Any violence portrayed in this story is there with a purpose – that of moving the story forward.

I was greatly impressed by the narrator and his ability to create and maintain distinct voices for such a large number of characters. His pacing was perfect and he used inflection to create mood. I rate his performance as 5 out of 5 Stars.

I highly recommend this story to anyone who loves not only historical fiction, but a great drama. I think that buying this book in audio book format is the best way to experience this tale.

I rate THE HIDDEN VILLAGE audio book as 4.5 out of 5 Stars. ⭐⭐⭐⭐

I received this audiobook as part of my participation in a
blog tour with Audiobookworm Promotions. The tour is being sponsored by Essential
Audiobooks. The gifting of this audiobook did not affect my opinion of it.

***************************

  • Was a possible audiobook recording something
    you were conscious of while writing?

    • Absolutely not! I didn’t even know it would be possible. In
      some ways I’m pleased I wasn’t thinking about how The Hidden Village would sound as it might
      have inhibited my writing. I had a clear idea of how the characters sounded in my head and they
      shaped my writing. However, having turned The Hidden Village into an audiobook, I’m more mindful of how the words will be spoken as I’m writing my next novel (also set in Holland in
      WW2).
  • How did you select your narrator?
    • I was introduced to my narrator, Liam Gerrard, through
      Catherine O’Brien, CEO of Essential Audiobooks. After reading and becoming very enthusiastic
      about my novel, she suggested that Liam would be the perfect narrator for the job as he had
      experience in narrating World War 2 novels, has a fantastic CV as an actor and voiceover artist
      and has his own recording studio. It gave me the confidence that he would do an excellent job. I
      asked him to do me an audition of the first chapter which we then discussed in detail, so that he
      could understand what I was looking for in terms of characterisation, pace and style.
  • How closely did you work with your narrator before
    and during the recording process?

    • Most of my involvement took place at the beginning of the
      project. Once he began recording for real, he didn’t get in touch with me at all until he’d
      completed the job. I was slightly nervous that I might need to ask him to rerecord sections, but it
      wasn’t necessary. Listening to his narration the first time through, I was amazed at how he’d
      interpreted my writing and really brought the story to life.
  • Did you give them any pronunciation tips or special
    insight into the characters?

    • I made some voice files for Liam which describe the
      characters as well as the pronunciation of Dutch and German words and phrases, names and
      place names. We went through these meticulously and Liam even noticed a couple I’d missed!
      His attention to detail was extraordinary. He had really read and understood the story which
      comes out strongly in his narration.
  • Were there any real life inspirations behind your
    writing?

    • The Hidden Village is based on a real place in Holland
      which I discovered on one of my many cycling holidays in the area. Deep in the Veluwe woods
      is a memorial to the local people who had risked their lives to help Jews hide from the Germans
      by building a village of underground huts. Not only that, they brought in food, clothing,
      medicines and all other necessities all the time that the German soldiers were patrolling the
      woods looking for Jews in hiding. It was an extraordinary feat and the Dutch community almost
      got away with it. I came across a Dutch book with interviews of people who had lived in the area
      at the time, including those who had helped with the building of the village and others who’d
      gone to live there. It is the determination and courage of these people in the face of evil that
      interested me most.
    • My mother was Dutch and I grew up hearing about her
      experiences and stories of survival during the Hunger Winter in 1944-45. Food ran out, people
      starved to death but my mother and family survived because she cycled into the bulbfields and
      dug up tulip bulbs which they boiled as their only source of nutrition. Her stories were both
      horrifying and uplifting – she was a young woman at the time and often said that she’d found the
      war to be an exciting time. This is what made me want to have young people as my main
      character.
  • How do you manage to avoid burn-out? What do
    you do to maintain your enthusiasm for writing?

    • I so wanted to get this story down as it’s about my own
      personal history and the place I love to visit most. I visit Nunspeet in Holland with my husband
      and other family members at least once a year and when I’m back in the woods the words really
      flow again.
  • Are you an audiobook listener? What about the
    audiobook format appeals to you?

    • I have to confess I’d never listened to an audiobook before
      my own! (I know, shame on me!). Now, I’ve been through the process, I appreciate just how
      brilliant an audiobook can be. I’ve started listening in the car, grabbing a chapter or two on short
      journeys and more on longer ones and have a feeling that I’m getting my reading in without having to pick up a book. I still love reading books as well and think the two are very
      complementary.

Sep. 6th:
Dab of Darkness
Audiobook Reviews

Amie’s
Book Reviews

Sep. 7th:
T’s Stuff
The Book Junkie Reads . . .
Sep. 8th:
Inspiration
Clothesline

Sep. 9th:
Jazzy
Book Reviews

Sep. 10th:
What Is That
Book About

Sep. 11th:
Lomeraniel
Sep. 12th:
Working
Mommy Journal

The
Book Addict’s Reviews

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A DANGER TO HERSELF AND OTHERS by Best Selling Author ALYSSA SHEINMEL is destined for the Best Seller List – An Unputdownable Read

Title: A DANGER TO HERSELF AND OTHERS

Author: ALYSSA SHEINMEL

Genre: YOUNG ADULT FICTION, DIVERSE FICTION

Ages: 14 and up

Length: 352 PAGES

Publisher: SOURCEBOOKS INC.

Received From: NETGALLEY

Release Date: FEBRUARY 5, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-4926-6724-7

Price: $17.99 USD (HARDCOVER)

Rating: 5 OUT OF 5 STARS ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

DESCRIPTION:

Four walls. One window. No way to escape.

Hannah knows there’s been a mistake. She doesn’t need to be institutionalized. What happened to her roommate at that summer program was an accident. As soon as the doctors and the judge figure out that she isn’t a danger to herself or others, she can go home to start her senior year. Those college applications aren’t going to write themselves. Until then, she’s determined to win over the staff and earn some privileges so she doesn’t lose her mind to boredom.

Then Lucy arrives. Lucy has her own baggage, and she’s the perfect project to keep Hannah’s focus off all she is missing at home. But Lucy may be the one person who can get Hannah to confront the secrets she’s avoiding – and the dangerous games that landed her in confinement in the first place.

MY REVIEW:

In “A DANGER TO HERSELF AND OTHERS” readers meet Hannah Gold who presents as a typical teenager. She may seem a bit arrogant, but I found that trait easy to overlook.

Hannah has been sent to a mental institution after her roommate was injured in an accident. She knows she isn’t like the other residents, she is only there because of a misunderstanding.

It is the way that Hannah comes across initially that makes her such a memorable character. Even after the book ends, Hannah’s journey will stay in the hearts and minds of readers for a long time.

Once in awhile a Young Adult book is published that actually provides an authentic look at the lives of a segment of the teen population that has been largely ignored by the majority of authors. This lack of diversity is finally being charged with the publication of books like this one.

While mental illness is starting to be talked about more and more – with such movements as the “You Are Not Alone” and events such as “Mental Health Awareness Week” we still have a long way to go before the societal stigma attached to mental illness is a thing of the past.

That is why books like this are not only entertainment. They are also eye-opening and help people to identify with the person rather than the illness.

In Chapter Seven, Dr. Lightfoot says: “We need to wait until my evaluation is farther along before making any changes to your treatment plan.”

In her head, Hannah thinks:
Further, not farther, I think. They could at least give me a doctor who knows basic grammar. It’s not exactly comforting that my fate is in her hands.”

I had already begun to like Hannah’s character, and her reaction to the doctor cemented it for me. I like this girl.

I barely knew anything about her yet, but somehow the author has created a sympathetic character that I could relate to. Other readers will likely have the same reaction which means they will become invested in the outcome of her incarceration, making it likely they will not want to put this book down.

I rate “A DANGER TO HERSELF AND OTHERS” as a full 5 OUT OF 5 STARS ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ and I believe this book will not only be on the 2019 Bestsellers List, but will also win multiple awards.

Thank you very much to the Publisher and to NetGalley for providing me with a free ARC of this book.

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*

QUOTES:

“Reset. Like I am an appliance that needs tinkering, a frozen laptop that needs to be rebooted. I don’t think Ctrl + Alt + Delete is going to cut it here.”

*

“…the hospitals on television don’t look like this place: On TV, the doors don’t stay locked, the furniture isn’t bolted to the floor, and people who are perfectly capable of walking don’t use bedpans.”

*
*

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

To learn about this author, visit the following links:

OFFICIAL WEBSITE
www.alyssasheinmel.com

GOODREADS

TEEN READS

INSTAGRAM

TWITTER

AMAZON

BARNES AND NOBLE

CHAPTERS


WHISPER ME THIS by Kerry Anne King which is now available is a brilliantly written thriller that is Unputdownable – Five Stars ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ are not enough

Title: WHISPER ME THIS

Author: KERRY ANNE KING

Genre: FICTION, WOMEN’S FICTION

Length: 349 PAGES

Publisher: LAKE UNION PUBLISHING

Received From: NETGALLEY

Release Date: AUGUST 1, 2018

ISBN: 9781503901957

Price: $24.95 USD

Rating: 5 OUT OF 5 STARS ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

DESCRIPTION:

Single mother Maisey Addington has always fallen short of her own mother’s expectations—never married, a bit adrift, wasting her high IQ on dead-end jobs. The only thing Maisey’s sure she’s gotten right is her relationship with her twelve-year-old daughter, Elle…until a phone call blows apart the precarious balance of their lives. Maisey’s mother is in a coma, and her aging father faces charges of abuse and neglect.

Back at her childhood home, Maisey must make a heartrending life-or-death decision. Her confused father has destroyed family records, including her mother’s final wishes. Searching for answers, Maisey uncovers one unspeakable secret after another when she stumbles upon a shattering truth: a twin sister named Marley.

Maisey’s obsession with solving the mystery of her sister forces her to examine her darkest memories and triggers a custody battle with Elle’s father. Will Maisey’s love for her daughter be strong enough to break a cycle of abuse and create a new beginning for them all?

MY REVIEW:

**** WARNING ****
This book contains instances of domestic violence. If that is a trigger for you, I suggest that you skip this novel.
*******************

This book “… stirs the emotions in your belly like a spoon stirring cream into a coffee cup…”

Maisey grew up in a home that was ruled by her iron-willed mother. It is no wonder she moved away, placing several States between herself and her childhood home. She loves her parents, she just knows that raising her daughter in Kansas City has been the best decision she has ever made.

Maisey and her daughter, Elle get along famously. In fact, despite what her mother sees as wasted potential, Maisey knows she has done something right – she has raised Elle with all the love anyone could ever wish for.

A single, life-altering phone call brings back all Maisey’s feelings of inadequacy. She has to fly home. Her mother is gravely ill and her father is confused and evasive. The police mention the possibility of domestic abuse or at the very least, neglect.

Back in her childhood home, Maisey unearths a life-changing secret; she has a sister. One that neither her mother or father ever spoke of.

Just as she is coming to terms with the fact that her mother had lied to her for her entire life, Maisey discovers more secrets and lies.

This book is one of the most realistic descriptions of spousal abuse I have ever come across. Author Kerry Anne King has a background in Mental Health Counseling and also as a nurse. She has obviously come into close contact with survivors of abusive relationships, because she does a brilliant job of describing the insidious way that abusers can get inside the head of their victims.

This book is an emotional roller coaster and readers will be taken along for the ride of their lives.

Maisey may initially come across as a weak character, but as readers learn more about her, perceptions change. Whether those perceptions are hers or the readers remains to be seen.

I could not help but be swept up in the drama of Maisey’s story. The plot moves along at the perfect pace and there is rarely a dull moment. The characters are so realistic that they could easily be your neighbors in reality.

With topics such as single parenthood, divorce, custody issues, alcoholism, drug abuse, child abuse, elder care, domestic violence, secrets, lies and more, there is barely a person on the planet that will not be able to find something or someone to relate to within the pages of “Whisper Me This.”

Written with some of the best character building I have read in a very long time, this book is an absolute MUST READ.

I will be thinking about this book for a long, long time and I rate it as 5 out of 5 Stars ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

** Thank you to NetGalley for providing me with a free copy of this book. **

QUOTES I LOVED:

“My thoughts and feelings are so jumbled and bruised, I can’t begin to know what I think or feel.”

*

“How … can [someone] sing so beautifully while packing around so much venomous hate?”

*

“What I should do and what I will do are two different chickens…”

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“A frisson of fear. And a big old bucket of nausea.”

*

*

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Kerry Anne King is the author of the international bestselling novel Closer Home.

Licensed both as an RN and a Mental Health Counselor, she draws on her experience working in the medical and mental health fields to explore themes of loss, grief, and transformation, always with a dose of hope and humor.

Kerry lives in a little house in the big woods of the inland northwest with her Viking, three cats, a dog, and a yard full of wild turkey and deer.

She also writes fantasy and mystery novels as Kerry Schafer.

To learn more about this author, visit the following links:

OFFICIAL WEBSITE

GOODREADS

FACEBOOK

INSTAGRAM

TWITTER

PINTEREST

AMAZON

GOOGLE +

CHAPTERS

#WhisperMeThis #NetGalley #Amiesbookreviews #readandreview #book #books #bookblog #bookblogger #booklover #bibliophile #booknerd #booknerdigan #booknerdigans #instabook #igbook #igauthor #igreads #instalike #instagramhub #author #indie #indieauthor #indiebook #fiction #2018 #2018book #2018release #August2018 #KerryAnneKing #igread #womensfiction #mustread #secrets #lies #secretdandlies

RED RIBBONS by twenty year old author Hanne Arts is a 5 Star MUST READ for all young adults (and their parents.) ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

Title: RED RIBBONS

Series: The Sequel to JUST PERFECT

Author: HANNE ARTS

Genre: NON-FICTION, BIOGRAPHY AND MEMOIR, MENTAL HEALTH, EATING DISORDERS, DEPRESSION

Length: 192 PAGES

Publisher: SELF-PUBLISHED

Received From: THE AUTHOR

Release Date: OCTOBER 2017

ISBN: 978-1-97784-5504

Rating: 5 OUT OF 5 STARS ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

DESCRIPTION:

As Christina’s eighteenth birthday approaches, she finds herself struggling in recovery. Facing Filip’s recurring depression and Miriam’s increasing presence in her father’s life, she attempts to take reigns over what she can control – food. It is thus that she starts eating less and less, again opening the door to her eating disorder. But can she get her life back on track a second time, and why is it so difficult to accept the help she is given? “Red Ribbons” is a heart-wrenching tale of acceptance and denial, love and loss, mental illness and the road to recovery.

MY REVIEW:

Hanne Arts may be young in years, but she writes with the talent of a consummate professional.

RED RIBBONS is the sequel to her phenomenal debut book, JUST PERFECT. You can read my review of her first book by clicking HERE.

RED RIBBONS draws the reader back into Christina’s world. Having reached out for help and getting treatment at the end of JUST PERFECT, we find that she has not lived happily ever after and that in fact, she is struggling more than ever.

Christina’s depression and anorexia are once again severe and as her eighteenth birthday comes closer, she may not live to make it to age 19. She realizes that “{She} was a puppet to {her} weight’s strings.”

The story unfolds with such realism that it is impossible for the reader to remain aloof. I was once again drawn deeply into the emotions Christina was experiencing.

Mental illness is finally starting to be looked upon like other illnesses and the stigma attached to it is slowly abating, however, there is still a long way to go.

It is books such as JUST PERFECT and RED RIBBONS that are helping to let teens and young adults know that they are not alone in their struggles and that seeking help shows strength rather than weakness.

I rate RED RIBBONS as 5 out of 5 Stars ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ and I applaud Hanne Arts for continuing to bring awareness to the topics of depression, anorexia and mental illness. I can’t wait to read her next novel.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

To learn more about this author, visit the following links:

OFFICIAL WEBSITE

GOODREADS

FACEBOOK

TWITTER

GOOGLE+

AMAZON

YOUTUBE

CRUISE WITH AN ADORABLE FAT GIRL BLOG TOUR and GIVEAWAY

Cruise with an Adorable Fat Girl Blog Tour, Review and GIVEAWAY

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Title: CRUISE WITH AN ADORABLE FAT GIRL

Author: BERNICE BLOOM

Rating: 5 OUT OF 5 STARS ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

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SYNOPSIS:

Mary Brown – our full-figured heroine – is off on a cruise. It’s the trip of a lifetime…featuring eat-all-you-can buffets and a trek through Europe with a 96-year-old widower called Frank and a flamboyant Spanish dancer called Juan Pedro in attendance. Then there’s the desperately handsome captain, the appearance of an ex-boyfriend on the ship, the time she’s mistaken for a Hollywood film star in Lisbon and tonnes of clothes shopping all over Europe.

Purchase from Amazon UKhttps://www.amazon.co.uk/Cruise-Adorable-Fat-Girl-frolicks-ebook/dp/B077Y5XZWK/

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MY REVIEW:

CRUISE ADORABLE FAT GIRL

Mary Brown is: THE ADORABLE FAT GIRL. She may be fat, but that is only one small part of who she is. In this installment of her life’s journeys, Mary has been invited along on a Mediterranean cruise. Her friend Dawn is a blogger and has been given a free cruise for two in exchange for being featured on her blog.

A FREE 20 day Mediterranean cruise. Who could possibly resist? Not Mary. She is as excited as a toddler receiving its first ice cream cone. Of course, the “Eat-All-You-Can Buffet” is a huge bonus.

When boarding the ship, Mary meets the gorgeous Captain of the Angel of the Seas – Will Homarus. He is so strikingly gorgeous that Mary thinks to herself; “I knew instantly that I would have to keep right away from this guy when I’d had a few glasses of wine or I’d be wrapping my legs round his neck and asking him to marry me.”

Mary’s first night on the ship passes in a blur and when she wakes up in the morning she cannot remember what she did the night before. But, she learns a bit about it in the morning when one of the men sharing her table says: “Yes, the captain was telling that you were performing YMCA last night and doing high kicks to New York, New York. You were quite the party animal by the sound of it…The captain said your Elvis impersonation was one of the best he’d ever seen.”

I laughed out loud at this.

I do not want to give too much more away because I am excited to let readers discover all the hilarious hijinks when they read this book. It is filled with colorful characters, wondrous scenery and is. incredibly hilarious.

I rate this book as 5 out of 5 Stars ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ and I highly recommend it. This would be the perfect beach read or even a winter weekend read to remind readers that summer is coming.

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BEST QUOTES FROM THE BOOK:

My favorite line in the entire book is the following:

“I don’t know a great deal about politics: only that Theresa May wears great shoes and Donald Trump is a giant orange loon-bucket and no one knows how he was elected.”
.
“Always a joy to meet someone who doesn’t take life too seriously… Life’s supposed to be full of surprises, Mary Brown. Don’t let anyone tell you otherwise.”

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Hello, my name is Bernice Bloom and I am a writer (I write light-hearted rom-com style novels and also work as a magazine journalist and advertising copywriter) and jewellery designer. My recent series of novels is called ‘Adorable Fat Girl’ and it features a heavily overweight woman called Mary Brown. She is bright, funny, friendly and bonkers. She’s also fat. The books blend the comedy of her efforts to lose weight with a more serious backstory about what happened to her in the past that had led to the issues that make her prone to over-eating. I’m fascinated that there are so few overweight heroines in literature. Women can be manipulative, evil, even murderers in fiction, but not fat! Certainly not fat and beautiful with loads of friends! Then along came Mary and she’s developed quite a fan base of people who love the fact that the heroine is large. She gets lots of letters and I have ended up taking her on lots of adventures!

To learn more about this author visit the following links:

FACEBOOK

TWITTER

INSTAGRAM

*

ENTER TO WIN:

Giveaway – Win a Daisy Bracelet and Earring set created by Bernice Bloom (Open Internationally).

Giveaway – Win a Daisy Bracelet and Earring set created by Bernice Bloom (Open Internationally).

*Terms and Conditions

Worldwide entries welcome. Please enter using the Rafflecopter box below. The winner will be selected at random via Rafflecopter from all valid entries and will be notified by Twitter and/or email. If no response is received within 7 days then I reserve the right to select an alternative winner. Open to all entrants aged 18 or over. Any personal data given as part of the competition entry is used for this purpose only and will not be shared with third parties, with the exception of the winners’ information. This will passed to the giveaway organiser and used only for fulfilment of the prize, after which time I will delete the data. I am not responsible for despatch or delivery of the prize.

ENTER BY CLICKING THE FOLLOWING LINK:

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